Fall Nature Study

Fall Nature Study

Fall Nature Study

We love fall in our family! The leaves are turning colors and my house smells of apples and cloves as I bake and diffuse.

One of our favorite activities each season is nature study, and we love observing the change of seasons in our favorite places. We try to take time on every outing to pause at a scenic spot to sketch or play.


Sometimes getting young children to actually observe nature, requires giving them a craft that involves natural materials. This allows them to slow down enough to actually observe the leaves, bark or feathers that they are supposed to be studying.

One of the resources that we are using this year, is the book, Exploring Nature With Children, by Lynn Seddon. This manual includes activities, book suggestions, an overview of the topic and even poem and art suggestions to go along with the theme of the week. 

We also enjoy collecting leaves on each of our outings and identifying the trees they came from. Our new Tree Guide has been a helpful resource for observing trees and enjoying the fall season.

We have also used the book, Look What I Did With a Leaf for our annual leaf creatures, and one of the girls in our local nature group, made this fabulous horse, using ideas from the book.


Another family fall tradition that we have is a visit to a place called Apple Hill. We don't live as close as we used to, but purchasing fresh apples and fresh apple donuts is worth the drive. You may have apple orchards or pumpkin patches near you where you can celebrate the changing season.


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We have many free items for your family. Parent guides, children’s activities, printable and book lists to give you a taste of The Peaceful Press Curriculum. Click the button below for access.

A Preschool Guide To Trees

Last spring I shared here on the blog about a tree unit study our family was enjoying at that time and that has blossomed into a very lovely preschool collection. You can read a bit more about that learning unit, the books and the activities I shared HERE, as well as the heart of why I love studying trees with my little ones. 

Tree Mobile.jpg

Following a similar four week breakdown, this tree unit is broken into four components, which are:

A Tree Begins 

The study of how a tree begins to grow and how to care for a growing tree. Transferring acorns, sorting tree seeds and watering plants are a few activities we do this week.

About A Tree

The study of what makes up a tree and how tree are similar, yet different. This week we measure trees, sort bark, and make leaf prints.


A Tree is a Home

The study of the habitat that is within and surrounding a tree. We will explore the world of bugs and birds and other tree dwellers in this week of playful learning.

A Tree Gives

A study on some of the ways a tree gives to us. This week we will play with fruit, making a rainbow fruit snack, apple star print, and learn about some of the beautiful gifts the tree generously gives.


My heart is that as you study trees with your little ones you will see your hearts grow together and your roots in your family deepened. This study has a mix of living books,  simple crafts, directed printables, fun activities and adventure.  You will also find simple food preparation and home skills you can work into the rhythm of your day.

These lessons are created with play in mind, but offer some skills an older preschool or kindergarten student will also enjoy as well. They have been loved by my two year old on the simplest level, engaging for my four year old, while still grabbing the attention of my six year old. We have been testing out and trying all of these activities in preparation to share them with you. And I have been praying over each mama, and each little learner, who reads and journeys through this tree unit. I am here cheering you on as your love and lead your little ones.  

Book List

A Is For Acorn by Analisa Tripp

Because of An Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer

A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston

Seeds and Trees by Brandon Walden

The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward

A Tree is Nice by Janice Udry

A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer

Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman

Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman

Trees, Leaves, and Bark by Diane Burns

The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown Ups by Gina Ingoglia

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

Going on A Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger

How do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro

The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall

Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman


With Love, Lisa Wilkinson


You might also like our other post LEARN ABOUT TREES.

Enjoy this 4 week breakdown of A Preschool Guide to Trees!

Enjoy this 4 week breakdown of A Preschool Guide to Trees!

Gentle Learning With Littles- A Guest Post


We are in the depths of early childhood. Just past the sleepless nights and constant nursing, but still in the expanse of that sweet age of boundless energy and curiosity that is so fleeting. There was no doubt when we implemented The Peaceful Preschool last year that it would be a perfect fit for our family.

My eldest daughter has always loved books and this gentle, literature based approach was just what our family needed. It brought such a peaceful rhythm to our learning and I am thankful to have been able to begin our homeschooling journey in a peaceful way from the start. Much of homeschooling last year would find us snuggling on the couch or under a tree reading books and then re-enacting the stories, painting with watercolors, and hanging letters on our school room wall with pride and accomplishment. Then outside we went! 

Click For The Peaceful Preschool Book List

Much of our day you can find us outdoors, weather permitting. Exploring the woods next door, walking to a favorite local spring fed stream with friends, and hiking a new trail. So much growth and knowledge can occur when in nature, especially in the early years.  Respect is learned for creatures, gentleness when one finds a butterfly, attention is stretched when observing more and more details of a little lady bug who decides to visit a while. Perseverance and determination are developed when hiking and littles learn that one step taken is one step closer to the goal.  

Need More Ideas For Nature Based Learning? Our Ocean Guide Can Help

We also started tea time, which has been such a blessing! When we are having a hard day, whether it be difficult feelings or just bad attitudes, putting everything aside to sit and have tea has proven countless times to reset our day. We read poems, enjoy tea (in our case apple juice), talk, and giggles are sprinkled throughout. By the time we are done with tea we leave the table with a deeper understanding and love for one another.


Homeschooling with littles is a bit different this year than it was last year. We are three weeks in with The Playful Pioneers and my youngest, who is two, is showing more and more interest in what we are doing. While at times it can be so tempting to distract and give her something else to do, I have found it more helpful to include her. Toddlers are so curious and what better way to hone in on their desire to learn than to welcome them in with arms wide open. While I’m reading from Farmer Boy my youngest plays with her little wooden barn while my five year old does copy work or works on weaving. The activities in The Playful Pioneers are so easily adaptable between ages, which I love. My toddler is always right in the midst of it and along the way we are learning patience, helpfulness, and forgiveness. And grace, oh so much grace. Easier said than done, but from what I’ve gleaned from seasoned mamas who have been there and have seen the fruits of their labor… it is hard work, but it is so worth it.

Melina Boswell

Click Here For The Playful Pioneers Book List


Are you in need or reading resources for your young learners? This post contains a few of our favorites.

Math can be fun. This post shares a few resources that can help shape a positive view.

Books and Crafts To Celebrate Spring

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We love celebrating the changing seasons, and after a few weeks of snow and rain, it is finally, actually looking like spring around here.

There are so many things to be amazed by in the spring, and so many ways to develop what Sarah Mackenzie calls, "Radiant Connection". We love to create this connection with our children through books and projects. 

Some of our favorite projects throughout the years have been...

  • Planting a garden

  • Felting a toadstool

  • Dyeing eggs

  • Making edible nests

  • Painting flowers

  • Reading books

Click Here To Download Your Free "In Bloom" Guide to Spring Books and Crafts"


As believers, many of our spring celebrations also revolve around acknowledging the death and resurrection of Jesus. One of our favorite ways to celebrate this important time is through our Passover observance. We have kept Passover regularly over the last several years, and love the way the symbolism points to deeper truths, and makes our observances and celebrations centered around resurrection even more meaningful. 


Whether you are hiding eggs, matzah or simply enjoying the flowers, the new life surrounding us in the spring gives us many reasons to celebrate.

Favorite Passover Books

The Longest Night

The Passover Lamb

The Story of Passover

A Few Guides To Your Own Celebrations

A Christian Passover

A Jewish Passover

A Rich and Rooted Passover

A few Easter or Passover crafts we have done-

  • Glueing seeds to a cross shape

  • Making dirt cups

  • Making an afikomen cover

  • Wrapping a lamb cutout with yarn

If you would like to interject every day of learning with more "Radiant Connection", check out our curriculum. Each parent guide is packed full of ideas for bringing joy into learning and creating connections between parents and children.

The Peaceful Preschool

The Playful Pioneers

The Precious People

Our Saints Cards make a wonderful gift for Easter or a Christian Passover observance. Each of the 30 cards depicts a work of art about a saint of the Christian church, as well as a short biography about the lives of these brave people who loved well.

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My daughter recently wrote a letter about thankfulness for our e-mail subscribers, and we wanted to share it here as well.

"I recently wrote pages of things I was thankful for because I realized I was slipping into a skewed view of life. Most of my focus was centering on areas I messed up in, and the things I wasn't doing well.

Over the years, I have seen many of my peers grow up dissatisfied with the education or experiences they received because they have focused on the wrong things.

It’s easy to do. We forget and are jealous and insecure about our and other people's education or lifestyle. But one thing I truly believe is that I had the best education ever. Not because it was always perfect, and not because there aren’t things I missed, but because it was genuine.

It was unique, and thanks to my mom it was genius and motivating and outdoorsy and beautiful. I had a good education. But here’s the second thing that made it great; thankfulness.

I recently read Viktor Frankl’s “Man in Search of Meaning’ and he talks about how in the concentration camps, the men he was with, dying men, would leave what little warmth they had to watch a beautiful sunset. They displayed what Frankl calls the greatest human freedom, which is our freedom to choose our response to life.

You and I get to choose our response to circumstances in life. And when I am thankful for my education I am also able to take full advantage of every bit of it. 

Thankfulness started early, with my parents gently and lovingly equipping me to deal with a world that sometimes hurt, with people who don’t always love themselves like they should, and with way too much advertising and competition trying to tell me that I am not enough.

So, we read books about thankful people like Mother Teresa, Amy Carmichael, the Arnold Pent Family, Rani Snell, and Corrie Ten Boom. We would go around the dinner table sharing what we were thankful for. When we went tide pooling and watched hermit crabs molt, or grew gardens, or nature journaled, or sweat our way from historical monument to monument along the East Coast, we embraced the wonder of it and were thankful. And we continue to be mindful of when our hearts are thankful and when they are not.  Thankfulness creates joy in us, and an ability to enjoy our life, no matter the circumstances." (Emelie Pepito)


This Thanksgiving season, we wish for each of you the ability to cultivate gratitude in yourselves and your children. As you prepare for the holidays, take the time to jot down your intentions for this season, and then create traditions that fit with the values of your own family.  Perhaps even take time to interview your children about their own favorite holiday memories and then prioritize the activities you will participate in.

The holidays don't have to be characterized by exhaustion and disappointment. We can take the time to create our own traditions, and break free of expectations that don't reflect the gratitude and peace that we are working to cultivate.


If you are looking for creative activities to build more connection in your family, check out The Playful Pioneers and The Peaceful Preschool. Each parent guide is full of weekly lesson plans for literature based learning, using lovely books that encourage gratitude.

More posts on creating a happy holiday

Santa Mask

Christmas Stories


Celebrate Fall

The idea for these leaf animals came from the book,  Look What I Did With A Leaf . I helped this preschooler lay out her animal, and then we applied glue together to create this fox.

The idea for these leaf animals came from the book, Look What I Did With A Leaf. I helped this preschooler lay out her animal, and then we applied glue together to create this fox.

As the leaves begin to change and fall (it happens a little slower here than say, western Canada, where snow has already fallen!), I like to pause whatever our regular studies are to acknowledge and enjoy the changing season. 

We took a trip to a local apple orchard and stocked up on apples which we have been eating copious quantities of, and also have spent several hours observing leaves, creating collage from leaves, and making leaf rubbings with crayons. We also made walnut shell boats, complete with tiny flags which tied in nicely with a reading of "In 1492", about Christopher Columbus.

We also used the book list from our Whole Family Rhythms suggested reading to find more ways to celebrate.

I gave the children a clipboard with paper, and they laid a few leaves under the paper. We then trimmed the edges and glued it to card stock. For less robust rubbings, we just cut them in a leaf shape and glued to card stock.

I gave the children a clipboard with paper, and they laid a few leaves under the paper. We then trimmed the edges and glued it to card stock. For less robust rubbings, we just cut them in a leaf shape and glued to card stock.

While preschoolers may have developing attention spans, that may give up on leaf rubbings or collage sooner than we wish, just having a tray of seasonal nature items available for your young child to observe and enjoy can be a perfect way to add sensory exploration and appreciation of the natural world into your days.

The walnut shell boats were created by carefully cracking a nut in half and scooping out the meats. We then put a small piece of clay in the empty shell, stuck a twig in the clay, and attached a paper flag to the twig. Easy and adorable.

The walnut shell boats were created by carefully cracking a nut in half and scooping out the meats. We then put a small piece of clay in the empty shell, stuck a twig in the clay, and attached a paper flag to the twig. Easy and adorable.

What are you doing to celebrate the changing season? Share, by tagging #thepeacefulpreschool on Instagram, or in our encouraging private Facebook group, available with your curriculum purchase. 

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For a complete list of picture books used for The Peaceful Preschool click here.

For hands-on learning with your K-6 grade students, check out The Playful Pioneers and The Precious People.